The Book Of Joshua Essay Research Paper

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The Book Of Joshua Essay, Research Paper The book of Joshua begins with the preparation of Joshua and the people of Israel for invasion of Jericho under the Lord’s presence and leadership. First, Joshua ordered the people who were to cross the Jordan to Jericho to prepare themselves. Then, he placed them under strict orders of obedience to his authority (1:10-18). Next, he sent out two spies to Jericho to retrieve information about the enemy. The spies went to the house of a prostitue name Rahab, as a cover for their actions. This plan did not work because the king of Jericho sent men to Rahab’s house to try to find them. She had hidden the well, however, and was able to convince the king’s men that they weren’t in her house. Since Rahab’s home was on the wall of

the city, she was able to let them down by a rope on the outside of the wall. Returning to Joshua, they gave their report (2:1-24). There followed another one of the events that Israel saw as a “wonder” of God. The river banks of Jordan were undercut in such a way, that they formed a natural dam that holds the river in check for extended periods of time. According to the passage 3:14-16, the waters were flooded when this was necessary, and the people boarded the ark of the covenant and passed easily over opposite Jericho. The ark of the covenant, symbol of the Lord’s presence with the Israelites, was carried to the midst of the riverbed to remind them that it was the Lord’s workings that enabled them to cross the flooded river (3:17). A pile of stones was resurrected as a

memorial to the event. The stones were to serve as a teaching aid for the elders. When asked by children of future generations what the stones meant, the elders would tell them of God’s deliverance of the people (4:1- 5:1). After crossing the Jordan, all the men and boys underwent circumcision as an act of consecration to the Lord (5:2-12). When they had recovered, preparations got under way for the attack on Jerricho. In a vision, Joshua saw the leader of the Lord’s army. The purpose of this seems to have been to assure Joshua of divine leadership in the days ahead (5:13-15). The numbers here are significant other than for their numerical value. Seven symbolized completion, ten perfection, and 12 completeness (6:12-16). Joshua was given orders to carry the arc of the

covenant up to Jericho with seven priests carrying seven ram’s horns. Armed troops were to march ahead of the priests blowing horns also. However no one was to give the battle cry until Joshua gave the signal. They marched around the walls of Jericho once in this fashion, and then retired to camp. This was done six days in a row, and then on the seventh day they marched around the walls seven times before Joshua gave the signal, and the people yelled a battle cry. The walls crumbled, and the soldiers flooded into the city. Everything was to be destroyed as an act of dedication to God. Only the prostitue Rahab, who had helped the spies, was to be spared (6:17-25). Finally, when the city was conquered, a curses was pronounced upon it to prevent its rebuilding (6:26-27). As harsh

as the requirements of the holy war might seem, an incident involving an Israelite named Achan would make it seem even more harsh. Strict regulations governed the disposal of the goods that were captured in the holy war. A violation on the ban of taking any spoils of war for personal use was punishable by death. In the battle for Ai, the Israelites were driven back. Unknown to Joshua, Achan had taken certain banned items at Jericho (7:1). Undoubtedly, word passed that Achan had taken the goods. Such knowledge would have had a divisive effect on the army if it were known, since others probably had been tempted to take the spoils of war but had resisted temptation. In any case, when the battle for Ai was begun, Israel suffered a stinging defeat (7:2-5). Joshua was perplexed,